Baby's First Food
Tips on Feeding Your Baby
- Grain milk is perfect for your baby as a transition from liquids to solid food. Grains have a balance of nutrition and are easy for your baby to digest.
- The combination of grains and vegetables help to create a strong physical, mental and emotional constitution.
- For baby's first feeding; make sure that the grain milk is the same consistency as breast milk/bottled milk.
- Plan to feed the baby at the same time each day and stick to it. Lunch is probably the best time to begin.
- Add another feeding time when you and your baby feel comfortable. Don't despair if your baby only eats a very small amount. A few teaspoons at each feeding to begin with are fine.
- As your baby gets used to solid foods the grain milk can get a little thicker. Don't make it thicker too quickly because it can cause constipation.
- For the first few days give your baby grain milk sweetened with rice syrup or barley malt.
- After the first few days begin to add the vegetables and sesame seeds.
- Baby's food needs to be naturally sweet so rice syrup or barley malt should be added on a daily basis. Vegetables should also be added at every feeding. Used toasted sesame seeds at least 3 times a week. The other suggestions can be used for variety.
- As your baby gets used to feeding the amount of water that is used for cooking the grains can be reduced. Reduce by half a cup every two weeks. The texture of the grain milk will get thicker too.
- A baby mill can then be used to give the baby mashed grains and vegetables.
Baby's First Food Menu
Grain Milk - Soft Vegetables - Toasted Sesame Seeds
Pressure Cooker or Heavy Pot with Lid, Glass Storage container with lid, Stainless steel strainer
2 tablespoons medium grain brown rice
2 tablespoons whole barley
2 tablespoons sweet brown rice
5 cups spring water
Place the grains in a small bowl and cover with water. Wash the grains to remove any dirt or dust. Pour off the excess water. Repeat two more times.
Add the 5 cups of water to the rinsed grains. Cover with a sushi mat and let sit for at least 3 hours.
Place the grains and water in a pressure cooker or heavy pot. Cover with a lid. Place the cooker or pot on a medium flame.
If using a pressure cooker, bring up to pressure. Place a flame deflector under the cooker and reduce the flame to low. Cook for about one hour. Remove from the heat and allow the pressure to come down naturally.
If using a pot, bring to a boil. Place a flame deflector under the pot and reduce the flame to low. Cook for about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the heat. The grains are now ready to make grain milk.
To make the grain, place about half a cup of the soft grains and liquid in a strainer over a small bowl. Gently stir the mixture around so that the liquid goes through the strainer. This is the basic grain milk. See the 'extras' that can be added to the grain milk.
Place the cooked grains in a glass storage container. The soft grains can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3 days. Make sure they are cool before placing in the refrigerator.
Store the soft grains rather than the grain milk. It will last longer. Each day take a small amount of the soft grain and heat it up in a pan. A little water may need to be added to give it a milk like consistency when strained.
Different Ways to Prepare Grain Milk:
Cook the grains with a 1/2-inch strip of rinsed kombu sea vegetable. Use this every other time you prepare the soft grains.
Other grains may be used such as whole oats and short grain brown rice. Vary the grains but cook only 3 different kinds together. Grains such as barley and whole oats can be cooked by themselves too. The ratio of water to grain remains the same; 6 tablespoons grain to 5 cups spring water.
One teaspoon of aduki beans may be added to the grains before cooking. Use these after the baby has been eating for a month. Cracked grains can also be given to the baby.
Try oatmeal, cous cous or polenta cooked with extra water. They can be cooked on their own or a small amount added to the whole grains and cooked together. They can be strained in the same way as the grain milk. Add the extra ingredients as you would for the grain milk. Include the cracked grains after the baby has been eating for about a month.
Tasty Extras for Grain Milk:
Add one teaspoon of rice syrup or barley malt to a small bowl of grain milk.
Add one teaspoon of ground toasted sesame seeds to the soft grains before straining.
Add one tablespoon of soft vegetables and their liquid to the soft grains before straining.
Add one teaspoon freshly squeezed tangerine juice to a small bowl of grain milk.
Add one-teaspoon apple juice to a small bowl of grain milk.
Add about half a teaspoon of tahini to the soft grains before straining. This can be added when you are heating up the soft grain after storing in the fridge.